The Packers needed more plays like this from their rookie defensive lineman
The Green Bay Packers began the season with 10 rookies on the 53-man roster. That’s a pretty high number – especially for a team than won 15 games the previous year. But GM Ted Thompson didn’t hang on to all those rookies to save money or to make himself look good. He kept them because they could play. In fact, seven have played significant roles in the team’s march to its second straight NFC North title.
I’ll be ranking the rookies – from least productive to most productive – over the next couple of weeks. Here’s #6:
Story of 2012: Second-round draft pick Jerel Worthy wasn’t terrible, but he was easily the biggest disappointment among all the rookies. Coordinator Dom Capers gave the former Michigan State star every opportunity to make an impact, but his positive plays were few and far between. Worthy has better size and strength than fellow first-year defensive lineman Mike Daniels, but his technique isn’t as good as he doesn’t play as consistently hard. The 22-year-old quickly learned that the NFL isn’t the Big 10.
What to expect in 2013: A torn ACL suffered in week 17 could sideline Worthy for all of next season. At best, he’ll return around Halloween after spending September and October on the Physically Unable to Perform list. The Packers will prepare to play without Worthy and anything they get from him in 2013 would be a bonus. This injury will not only affect the team come the fall, but it will also affect the team this spring. Look for general manager Ted Thompson to select another defensive end fairly high in the draft.